Sunday, May 31, 2009


9:30 AM Mass for Pentecost Sunday (Ordinary Form)
St. Joan of Arc Church, Cumberland, RI

Here is a church that I will admit that haven't stepped foot inside since the 1980's, back when the muzak of the St. Louis Jesuits was running rampant in that church. All I can say is - WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT SINCE THEN!

Back in the '80's, St. Joan's had two organs - the two-manual Wicks up in the gallery, and an electronic toaster organ downstairs in front. The only time the Wicks was used was when the choir sang.

The toaster organ is now gone, and the Wicks has been restored, with a new console by Peragallo. The music is now primarily traditional, and there has been talk about replacing the music issue with something decent. Yeah, they still have Massive Cremation, but it's done sparingly. E. Paul Breault, a seasoned veteran organist/choirmaster who still knows where it's at, is music director at St. Joan's now. Fr. Normand Bourdon is pastor.

The music:

Lambillotte: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest
- (No, not One Spirit, one Church, thank God!)
Alstott: Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth and Alleluia
"Hymn to Joy": Come, O Holy Spirit, come
- (It's the Caswall translation, somewhat modernized, but I would have rather used the chant tune. The adaptation to H2J isn't good.)
"Beach Spring": Healing river of the Spirit
Haugen: Massive Cremation (Sanctus, Memorial, Amen, Agnus Dei)
- (One of the nice things was NOT to hear the unnecessary repeats on the Memorial and Amen!)
Chadwick: Come, Holy Spirit
- (The Rev. Loring Chadwick is a staple in Cumberland. He was once rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland, as well as music director of North Cumberland Middle School. He's now reportedly serving in Florida.)
Norbet: Spirit, Come (blech! Had to be one I guess!)
"Abbot's Leigh": Lord, you give the great commission

OK, yes, I would have preferred Veni, Creator Spiritus and Veni, Sancte Spiritus, but I must say, this is far better than what was at St. Joan's 20-25 years ago! Kudos to Fr. Bourdon and Paul Breault for transforming the liturgy at that parish!



Unknown said...

Glad to hear that there was decent music someplace. None of mine was pentecost focused, but it was to be expected, as it was a Golden Anniv. Mass.

I have a request:
A friend that I know online has asked that this post be spread around the Catholic Blogs. If possible, can you please post something on it.



Unknown said...

Hey, Brian - I was talking with a friend today, and suggested that we begin to have a Jeanne d'Arc celebration every year! We find the girl who seems to have been most prophetic, most outspoken against the powers that be, during the past year, burn her at the stake. We could put ourselves on the map!!!!! Whaddaya think!!